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BSIF news analysis July 2018
07 August 2018
IN JULY, the HSE published its provisional annual statistics on UK work related fatal injuries in 2017-2018 and for the number of people known to have died from Mesothelioma during 2016.
The statistics tell us that 144 workers died between April 2017 and March 2018 which is an increase of nine deaths from the previous year. Falling from height remains a most stubborn problem with unsafe “behaviours and approach to risk” being a constant challenge to resolve and improve. Working at height and the risks have been the focus for a number of initiatives in industry with major construction client Landsec demonstrating an outstanding approach in cascading their safety culture through their major client base to drive improvement across the industry. These approaches are to be commended and they reflect the opportunity that influential companies can have to improve safety of the workforce within and beyond their immediate supply chain.
The problems involved in resolving falls from height have seen a new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) formed to drill down into the causes and potential solutions. This APPG is currently in the consultation phase and BSIF has actively contributed. On the face of it, it would appear that once again the behaviours of individuals, especially in the SME category, needs addressing.
By contrast to the 144 workers killed in 2017/18 through a work related fatal accident 2,595 workers lost their lives through contracting asbestos related Mesothelioma. This is the highest incidence in the world!
Unfortunately, BSIF has found many examples recently of non -compliant and even dangerous RPE in the UK, which will not protect the individuals adequately. We have also found that face fitting, despite being a legal requirement is not being adopted anything like as widely as it needs to be. In a recent survey across construction workers more than 60% had not been fitted for the RPE that they wore.
There needs to be more market surveillance generally on RPE and face fitting. While Mesothelioma may be seen as a legacy issue there are many respiratory hazards around today that require to be controlled. Our authorities such as the HSE needs the appropriate resources to police the market for inadequate products and inappropriate behaviours otherwise deaths from hazards such as Silica could become the Mesothelioma of tomorrow.
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